Sunday, 6 March 2016

It's been so long!

I haven't totally disappeared.
It's been a big start to the year.
A great start.
Gorgeous kids.
I could keep these guys. They are so sweet.
But SO intensely busy with life, the universe and everything.
One step at a time.

We have absolutely loved ClassDojo's growth mindset 'bideos'  (I love how these kiddos talk!)
It fit's in with our mindup stuff and also talking about our schema in English. It all just kind of fell together rather conveniently to form a sort-of mini 'how my brain works' unit. It's been great fun.

We even made mini brains out of clay and stuck small bits of pipe cleaner into it to make the connections.

It's amazing to hear parents talking about how their kid not only can say 'hippocampus' but can actually explain it! Or how they have neurons making connections in their brain, or how their mum needs to relax her body by doing some breathing after a rough day.

Someone once told me that if a kid can say 'tyrannosaurus rex', they can learn anything.
It totally changed the way I teach complicated concepts. We use the big words. We make them easy to understand. We explain them to our parents and shock their socks off. I love it.

On Friday we had our own mini oz animal Olympics. It was fun, even though I really don't like our Olympics unit, and even more so on years we actually have the Olympics.  There's nothing wrong with it. Just a deep seated distrust in anything remotely athletic.

We have moved through some phonemic awareness skills and have just started jolly phonics. So far, so fun!

Just two more weeks until we are doing parent teacher interviews.  I both love and at the same time dislike parent teacher interviews. I love the opportunity to get with parents and talk about their kid with a dedicated non-interrupted time. I dislike the 10 minute appointment slots.  You can't talk about a WHOLE child in ten minutes. The intricacies of their little personalities. Reassure their parents that they are making friends.  Discuss how they have settled into school, follow routines, behaviour, and quirks or concerns, academics, and basically, whether they are becoming a reasonable person.  I like that it is a special time tat I can connect with those parents that I never seem to see.  I dislike that it is always the parents that I need to see most that don't make it.

As a parent, I am not so much concerned with my kids academics- they are pretty bright so I haven't ever had any concerns there anyway, but there is plenty of support available to them if they were in any kind of struggle. Their mum is a pretty amazing tutor :D

I am much more concerned with what kind of human being they are turning into. I know I always see the potential in them. But it is nice to know that their teachers see what I see. It's nice to know that they have integrity and don't act differently when I'm not around. You have a whole life to learn book stuff (albeit, with some difficulty later on), but character development is really difficult to fix in adulthood. It really is one of those uniquely timed opportunities that you don't want to miss.

So yes. Goals for the year are well underway, I am completely booked out for tutoring and we are leaving on our amazingly huge road trip in a little under three weeks. I lost my USB with all the activities and games for the car that I was going to print at officeworks. Even though the organisational book I had thermobound there was done poorly. And the print job I did for someone's Christmas gift was also dodgy. Not to mention a few bible college assignments due before we go.

Having fun, but I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

Don't miss my new product- short and long vowel sorting mats. I couldn't find any that actually had the vowel in the picture, had long and short sounds and followed a theme, so I made these cute little animal ones up.

Vowel Sorting Animal Mats

Also, on my freebie page I have uploaded a 10 commandments display/sequencing activity that I've used with my class this year. It's pretty simple, but it has really helped my kiddo's remember them!
Some of them think number 7 is to get married. But at least they are thinking about it! We used this to talk about our school rules and how even God made up rules for us,  alongside our memory verse John 14:15 "If you love me, then you will obey my commands."

Starting our new memory verse this week- Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."  Also have an amazing Sean W Smith song to go with this called "Stop and Listen to Your Mum".
I'm looking forward to finishing off the term strongly, and I could use with a rest... but I'm not seeing one coming soon!

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